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Determine the future of his horn of africa task force 2010 report
 

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Determine the future of his horn of africa task force 2010 report

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    Determine the future of his horn of africa task force 2010 report Determine the future of his horn of africa task force 2010 report Document Transcript

    • GAO United States Government Accountability Office Report to the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives DEFENSE MANAGEMENT DOD Needs to Determine the Future of Its Horn of Africa Task Force April 2010 GAO-10-504
    • What GAO Found United States Government Accountability Office Why GAO Did This Study Highlights Accountability Integrity Reliability April 2010 DEFENSE MANAGEMENT DOD Needs to Determine the Future of Its Horn of Africa Task Force Highlights of GAO-10-504, a report to the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives Originally established in 2002 to fight terrorism, the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF- HOA), based at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, is the military’s main operational presence in Africa. The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), created in 2007 to focus on stability in Africa, has been assessing existing activities—as well as CJTF-HOA—against its mission of sustained security engagement in Africa. This report discusses: (1) AFRICOM’s decisions on CJTF- HOA’s future and whether CJTF- HOA’s activities align with the command’s mission, and (2) benefits of the task force and challenges it faces. For its review, GAO analyzed AFRICOM and CJTF-HOA guidance, conducted interviews at the command’s and task force’s headquarters, and obtained perspectives from U.S. embassies in the region. What GAO Recommends GAO recommends that AFRICOM, as part of its planning efforts, complete its evaluation of CJTF- HOA and determine the task force’s future. If the Department of Defense determines that sustaining the task force is consistent with its goals, GAO recommends long-term activity assessments, a funding plan, and training guidance for the task force. The Department of Defense generally agreed with the recommendations. AFRICOM has been evaluating CJTF-HOA, but it has not yet made decisions on the future of the task force—including whether CJTF-HOA should continue to exist as a joint task force, and if so, whether changes are needed to the task force’s mission, structure, and resources to best support the command’s mission of sustained security engagement in Africa. AFRICOM officials said that decisions are pending but did not share details of their evaluation or provide a target date for decisions. Since the task force moved under AFRICOM, its status has not changed significantly. As of March 2010, CJTF- HOA had about 1,650 personnel. The Navy continues to fund the majority of its approximately $80 million budget as well as most of Camp Lemonnier’s $238 million budget. The task force’s activities have evolved over the years to focus on building relationships and fostering stability; for example, about 60 percent of its activities are civil affairs projects, such as community medical care and bridge construction. Other activities include military-to- military activities, peace support operations, personnel recovery, and counter- piracy activities. However, CJTF-HOA is currently not performing long-term follow up on activities to determine whether they are having their intended effects or whether modifications are needed to best align with AFRICOM’s mission. Additionally, the task force is generally not setting specific, achievable, and measurable goals for activities. Some activities, such as military-to-military efforts, appear to support AFRICOM’s mission. Others, such as a school built by CJTF-HOA but later found dilapidated, could have unintended consequences. Without long-term assessments of activities, it is difficult for AFRICOM to determine the effectiveness of CJTF-HOA, which is critical for overall planning efforts and decisions on the task force’s future. CJTF-HOA’s force presence in the Horn of Africa provides several benefits, but the task force also faces challenges carrying out activities. CJTF-HOA’s presence in Africa offers benefits such as its ability to respond to contingencies, provide forces for AFRICOM activities, and build U.S.-African relationships. However, the task force’s sustainability is uncertain because AFRICOM, in concert with the Department of Defense or the Navy, has not developed options for funding the task force over the long term. It currently relies on overseas contingency operations appropriations, and GAO has previously encouraged that the projected costs of such ongoing operations be included in the military’s base budget requests. Moreover, task force staff have made cultural missteps because they did not understand local religious customs and may have unintentionally burdened embassies that must continuously train new staff on procedures. These problems may be exacerbated by limited training and compounded by short tour lengths (generally 4-12 months). Should AFRICOM opt to retain the task force, addressing challenges associated with long-term funding and staff skills would help ensure that it is effectively supporting U.S. efforts in Africa with the appropriate resources and trained personnel. View GAO-10-504 or key components. For more information, contact John H. Pendleton at (202) 512-3489 or pendletonj@gao.gov.
    • Page i GAO-10-504 Contents Letter 1 Background 3 AFRICOM Has Not Determined the Future of CJTF-HOA and Lacks Information on Long-term Effects of Activities 8 CJTF-HOA’s Presence in Africa Offers Benefits, but the Task Force Also Faces Challenges Carrying Out Activities 17 Conclusions 25 Recommendations for Executive Action 26 Agency Comments and Our Evaluation 27 Appendix I Scope and Methodology 31 Appendix II Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Fiscal Year 2010 Spend Plan 33 Appendix III Comments from the Department of Defense 34 Appendix IV GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments 40 Table Table 1: Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Fiscal Year 2010 Spend Plan 33 Figures Figure 1: CJTF-HOA’s Combined Joint Operational Area and Areas of Interest 7 Figure 2: Fiscal Year 2010 Funding for CJTF-HOA and Camp Lemonnier 10 Figure 3: CJTF-HOA Activities 12 Figure 4: Housing at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (2008) 21 Defense Management
    • Abbreviations AFRICOM U.S. Africa Command CENTCOM U.S. Central Command CJTF-HOA Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa DOD Department of Defense TCA Traditional Commander’s Activities USAID U.S. Agency for International Development This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. The published product may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further permission from GAO. However, because this work may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately. Page ii GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Page 1 GAO-10-504 United States Government Accountability Office Washington, DC 20548 April 15, 2010 The Honorable John F. Tierney Chairman The Honorable Jeff Flake Ranking Member Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee on Oversight and Government Reform House of Representatives When U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was established as the military’s newest combatant command, it inherited the Combined Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA)—the military’s main operational presence in Africa. After the President announced the creation of AFRICOM in 2007,1 the command initially focused its efforts on preparing to assume responsibility for all existing Department of Defense (DOD) activities in Africa. As the command has matured, it has begun to plan and prioritize its activities, as well as undertake an evaluation of CJTF-HOA, to align with its mission. Broadly, AFRICOM has defined this mission as conducting sustained security engagement in Africa, with a focus on conflict and crisis prevention through a persistent presence on the continent. CJTF-HOA was originally established in 2002 under U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) as part of DOD’s effort to fight the Global War on Terrorism. While AFRICOM is also supported by military service component commands (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force) and a theater special operations command, CJTF-HOA is the command’s only task force located in Africa that has assigned forces.2 CJTF-HOA consists mostly of U.S. military servicemembers but also includes representatives of coalition and partner countries. The task force operates from Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, and its personnel work in regions fraught with security challenges, including territorial disputes, threats from violent extremists, piracy activities, and attacks against U.S. interests—such as the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and of the USS Cole. CJTF- HOA’s mission is intended to foster regional stability, build security 1 In February 2007, then-President George W. Bush directed DOD to establish AFRICOM. DOD designated AFRICOM fully operational on September 30, 2008. 2 AFRICOM’s current headquarters is located in Stuttgart, Germany, and its military service components and special operations command are located in Germany or Italy. Defense Management
    • capacity, and forge relationships using an indirect approach to counter violent extremism in the region. This is an evolution of the task force’s original warfighting—or kill or capture—mission. Given regional instabilities and opportunity for persistent engagement, the responsibilities of CJTF-HOA have received considerable congressional interest. For example, the Senate Armed Services Committee directed DOD to report by April 2010 on, among other matters, the specific responsibilities of CJTF-HOA within AFRICOM.3 Furthermore, we have previously issued a report and testimony on DOD’s establishment of AFRICOM.4 We reported on difficulties that AFRICOM has faced since its establishment about its presence on the continent, with federal partners worried about the potential to militarize U.S. foreign policy and African nations concerned over greater U.S. influence and a perceived increase in U.S. military troops in the region. Our work made recommendations to help AFRICOM address challenges it faces with respect to communicating its mission, integrating personnel from other agencies (“interagency personnel”) into the command, and determining the total costs for establishing a permanent headquarters and offices in Africa. In addition, we are conducting an ongoing review of AFRICOM’s processes for planning and executing activities. As part of that ongoing review, you asked us to report specifically on the task force’s status and its relationship to AFRICOM’s mission of sustained security engagement. Specifically, this report discusses (1) the extent to which AFRICOM has made decisions on CJTF-HOA’s future and whether CJTF-HOA’s activities align with the command’s mission, and (2) benefits of the task force and challenges it faces in carrying out activities. To address these objectives, we analyzed AFRICOM and CJTF-HOA guidance, strategic documents, and other documentation and held discussions with AFRICOM, CJTF-HOA, host nation, and U.S. embassy officials to gain their perspectives. To review the extent to which AFRICOM has made decisions on CJTF-HOA’s future and whether CJTF- HOA’s activities align with the command’s mission, we reviewed CJTF- 3 Senate Committee on Armed Services Report No. 111-35, at 218-219. (2009). 4 GAO, Defense Management: Actions Needed to Address Stakeholder Concerns, Improve Interagency Collaboration, and Determine Full Costs Associated with the U.S. Africa Command, GAO-09-181 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 20, 2009), and Force Structure: Preliminary Observations on the Progress and Challenges Associated with Establishing the U.S. Africa Command, GAO-08-947T (Washington, D.C.: July 15, 2008). Page 2 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • HOA’s operational order; draft regional engagement plan; budget documentation; and information on staff, force structure, and activities. We also held discussions with AFRICOM officials to obtain their views on CJTF-HOA’s status and potential future responsibilities. To review CJTF- HOA’s benefits to AFRICOM, the U.S. embassies, and partner nations, we conducted interviews with CJTF-HOA, AFRICOM, U.S. embassy, Djiboutian government, and U.S. Joint Forces Command officials. To identify challenges CJTF-HOA faces in supporting AFRICOM’s mission of sustained security engagement in Africa, we reviewed AFRICOM’s strategic guidance, including its theater strategy, theater campaign plan, posture statement, and baseline assessment tool; and we analyzed CJTF- HOA’s operational order, draft regional engagement plan, and activities in relation to AFRICOM’s guidance. We met with AFRICOM officials in Stuttgart, Germany, in June 2009 and held follow-up meetings to obtain their views on CJTF-HOA’s mission, activities, assessments, staffing, and funding. We visited Camp Lemonnier in October 2009 to interview CJTF- HOA officials about their perspectives of CJTF-HOA’s activities, and we observed an academic training and mission rehearsal exercise for incoming CJTF-HOA staff in January 2010 in Suffolk, Virginia. In addition, we visited the U.S. embassies in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Djibouti in October 2009, and we contacted U.S. embassy officials from Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, and Yemen about their perspectives on and relationships with CJTF-HOA within their respective countries. More details about our scope and methodology are included in appendix I. We conducted this performance audit from April 2009 to April 2010, in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. DOD operates geographic combatant commands that conduct activities within assigned areas of responsibility around the world. DOD’s newest geographic command, AFRICOM, was designated fully operational on September 30, 2008. Consolidating the responsibility for DOD activities in Africa that had previously been shared by the U.S. Central, European, and Pacific Commands, AFRICOM is intended to provide a single focus and therefore a more strategic, holistic approach to U.S. military activities in Background Page 3 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Africa.5 AFRICOM is supported by military service component commands (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force), a theater special operations command (Special Operations Command, Africa), and a task force, CJTF- HOA. With the exception of CJTF-HOA, each of AFRICOM’s component commands is located in Europe and does not have assigned forces.6 AFRICOM’s Navy and Marine Corps components were designated as fully operational on October 1, 2008, and its Air Force, Army, and special operations command on October 1, 2009. To date, all have begun carrying out activities under AFRICOM. At least once a year, AFRICOM organizes an activity planning conference that brings together all of its component and subordinate commands as well as officials from DOD, the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and U.S. embassies in Africa. AFRICOM stated that it takes a long-term approach to sustained security engagement in Africa through military-to-military programs focused on conflict and crisis prevention. The command intends to build partner security capacity; work with interagency, international, and African partners; promote strategic relations; address transnational challenges such as terrorism and drug and arms trafficking; and respond to crises as directed. Many of AFRICOM’s activities focus on DOD’s shift toward emphasizing the importance of stability operations, DOD’s overarching term encompassing various military missions, tasks, and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other instruments of national power to maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment, and provide essential government services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction, and humanitarian relief.7 AFRICOM emphasizes that it conducts its stability activities in support of U.S. foreign policy objectives identified by the Department of State and that interagency efforts are of critical importance to the command’s success. 5 AFRICOM’s area of responsibility includes the African continent and its island nations, with the exception of Egypt. 6 On October 1, 2008, Special Operations Command, Africa, assumed responsibility for the Special Operations Command and Control Element-Horn of Africa and on May 15, 2009, it assumed responsibility for the Joint Special Operations Task Force Trans Sahara, which is the special operations component of Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara. 7 Department of Defense Instruction 3000.05, Stability Operations (Sept. 16, 2009). Page 4 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • According to DOD guidance,8 joint task forces are established on a geographical area or functional basis when the mission has a specific, limited objective. Normally, a joint task force is dissolved by the proper authority when the purpose for which it was created has been achieved or when it is no longer required. Some recent joint task forces have evolved to semipermanent task forces which stay behind to maintain end-state conditions or accomplish a specified follow-on or modified mission for an undetermined period. CJTF-HOA was originally established in 2002 under the Marine Corps, Central Command, at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, as part of DOD’s effort to fight the Global War on Terrorism. During its infancy, CJTF-HOA operated from the Navy vessel Mount Whitney. In 2003, the task force moved to its current location at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti City, Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa. In 2006, CJTF-HOA and Camp Lemonnier were transitioned to fall under Naval Forces, Central Command. In 2008, after AFRICOM’s establishment, CJTF-HOA was realigned in support of AFRICOM. As Combatant Command Support Agent for CJTF-HOA, the Department of the Navy provides funds for administrative control of CJTF-HOA through the Navy’s U.S. Fleet Forces Command. CJTF-HOA is the largest tenant operating out of Camp Lemonnier, which is leased from the Djiboutian government for $30 million annually. The camp’s fiscal year 2010 budget is about $238 million, and as of March 2010, it supported 3,200 personnel. Camp Lemonnier also hosts other U.S. and international tenants, but about 52 percent of the camp’s personnel are affiliated with CJTF-HOA. In addition to Camp Lemonnier, CJTF-HOA also uses forward-operating locations in Manda Bay, Kenya; Isiolo, Kenya; and Kasenyi, Uganda.9 CJTF-HOA’s “combined joint operational area” consists of 7 countries: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, and Sudan.10 In addition, it has named another 11 countries as “areas of interest:” Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Yemen. 8 Joint Publication 5-00.2, Joint Task Force Planning Guidance and Procedures (Jan. 13, 1999). 9 According to CJTF-HOA officials, these forward-operating locations are not full-scale bases; rather, they are temporary locations that allow access to foreign air bases. The facilities are owned by the host nations. 10 We refer to CJTF-HOA’s “combined joint operational area” as operating area. Page 5 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • According to CJTF-HOA officials, the task force’s area-of-interest countries were chosen because they are in close proximity to the countries within the task force’s operating area. They said that both the operating area and areas of interest were agreed upon with AFRICOM and the U.S. embassies. CJTF-HOA also has a limited maritime area of interest, although CENTCOM is primarily responsible for counter-piracy activities in the region (see fig. 1). AFRICOM permits CJTF-HOA to conduct activities independently, with U.S. embassy approval, in countries within its combined joint operational area but must seek permission from AFRICOM to carry out new activities or change existing activities in its area-of-interest countries. Page 6 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Figure 1: CJTF-HOA’s Combined Joint Operational Area and Areas of Interest Source: GAO presentation of DOD data; Copyright © Corel Corp. All rights reserved (map). CJTF-HOA Combined Joint Operational Area CJTF-HOA Area of Interest CJTF HOA Maritime Area of Interest Yemen Ethiopia Sudan Kenya Somalia Djibouti Eritrea Chad Democratic Republic of the Congo Tanzania Mozambique Madagascar Uganda Rwanda Burundi Seychelles Comoros Mauritius Page 7 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • As AFRICOM has been planning and prioritizing its inherited activities, it has been evaluating CJTF-HOA, but it has not yet made decisions on the future of the task force—including whether CJTF-HOA should continue to exist as a joint task force, and if so, whether changes are needed to CJTF- HOA’s mission, structure, and resources to best support the command’s mission of sustained security engagement in Africa. Moreover, CJTF-HOA is currently not performing long-term follow up on activities to determine whether they are having their intended effects or whether modifications to activities need to be made to best align with AFRICOM’s mission. AFRICOM Has Not Determined the Future of CJTF-HOA and Lacks Information on Long- term Effects of Activities Decisions Have Not Yet Been Made on CJTF-HOA AFRICOM has been evaluating CJTF-HOA, including its structure and activities, but at the time of this report, no decisions had been made on the future of the task force and whether it is appropriately aligned to support AFRICOM’s mission of sustained security engagement, and no specific time frames had been set for such decisions. According to AFRICOM officials, the completion of the command’s review is pending. Our prior work has emphasized the importance of ensuring a common outcome or purpose that is consistent with an organization’s goals and mission.11 Since becoming fully operational on September 30, 2008, AFRICOM has published several strategic documents—including a theater strategy, theater campaign plan, baseline assessment tool, and posture statement— which outline the command’s goals and objectives and help guide its activities in Africa. In addition, it has been creating a regional engagement plan for the East region of Africa. While AFRICOM has stated that CJTF- HOA’s mission of countering violent extremism and its location at Camp Lemonnier remain important, particularly given terrorist threats in the region, it has not yet made decisions about the future of CJTF-HOA. We requested but AFRICOM officials did not provide us with documents pertaining to its evaluation of CJTF-HOA, stating that its review was ongoing and any documentation was preliminary and subject to significant change. Regardless of the future of CJTF-HOA, AFRICOM officials described Camp Lemonnier as an enduring base. CJTF-HOA moved from CENTCOM to AFRICOM on October 1, 2008, but its status has not significantly changed since the transition. As of March 2010, CJTF-HOA had about 1,650 total personnel—about 360 staff and 1,290 assigned forces—plus several helicopters and access to other DOD 11 GAO, Results-Oriented Government: Practices That Can Help Enhance and Sustain Collaboration among Federal Agencies, GAO-06-15 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 21, 2005). Page 8 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • air assets to conduct its activities. Its staff includes executive-level personnel and staff who work in its directorates12 as well as officials stationed at U.S. embassies. The CJTF-HOA staff are predominantly Navy personnel, with all of its executive-level staff serving in the Navy—with the exceptions of the deputy commander who serves in the Army and the political advisor who is a Department of State civilian official. The task force also includes representatives from coalition countries, liaison officers from AFRICOM headquarters and some of AFRICOM’s military service components, and advisors from the Department of State and USAID. CJTF-HOA’s assigned forces come from each of the military services—with the largest percentage coming from the Army—that deploy to countries in which CJTF-HOA operates to seek and carry out activities. As of March 2010, about 50 percent of CJTF-HOA’s personnel were active duty military servicemembers, and 50 percent were reservists. Tour rotations generally range from 4 months to 1 year, and are unaccompanied—that is, personnel cannot bring their families. The Navy, as CJTF-HOA’s Combatant Command Support Agent, continues to fund the majority of CJTF-HOA’s budget since the task force has transitioned under AFRICOM, and these funds are provided largely through overseas contingency operations appropriations, which are not included in DOD’s base budget. CJTF-HOA plans to spend a total of about $80 million in fiscal year 2010 (see app. II), about 75 percent (over $60 million) of which comes from the Navy. The Navy also funds most of Camp Lemonnier’s $238 million fiscal year 2010 budget, also through overseas contingency operations appropriations. The remaining 25 percent (about $20 million) of CJTF-HOA’s funding generally comes from AFRICOM and its military service components, which fund the cost of their deployed servicemembers. According to CJTF-HOA officials, the task force’s actual spending may differ from the proposed plan based on other priorities and requirements from AFRICOM and the military service components. A small portion of CJTF-HOA’s funding for humanitarian civic assistance activities—about $1.8 million or about 2 percent of the task force’s spend plan—that was provided by the Navy prior to fiscal year 2010 is now expected to be provided by AFRICOM. CJTF-HOA officials explained that under AFRICOM, the task force will be required to compete with AFRICOM’s military service components for humanitarian civic assistance funds. In addition, the officials said that CJTF-HOA requested 12 Directorates correspond to the major functions of a command such as personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, plans, and so forth. Page 9 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • that it have immediate access to some AFRICOM funds, as it did when the funds came from the Navy, to avoid delays with activities. However, AFRICOM officials told us that the command needs oversight of CJTF- HOA activities and thus deferred CJTF-HOA’s request until the activities could be evaluated against AFRICOM’s theater campaign plan and other activities proposed by its military service components. Figure 2: Fiscal Year 2010 Funding for CJTF-HOA and Camp Lemonnier $80 million CJTF-HOA $238 million Camp Lemonnier Source: GAO presentation of CJTF-HOA and Camp Lemonnier data. CJTF-HOA Major Funding Sourcesa Navy, Operation and Maintenance Category Approximate Amount Other Military Services, Operation and Maintenance Humanitarian Civic Assistance Humanitarian Assistanceb $60 million $16 million $2 million $2 million Total Funding: $318 million Note: All numbers are approximate amounts. It is important to note that CJTF-HOA comprises about 52 percent of Camp Lemonnier’s tenants. The camp also hosts other U.S. and international tenants. a See appendix II for detailed CJTF-HOA budget information. b These funds span fiscal years 2009 through 2011. During our October 2009 visit to CJTF-HOA, officials told us that AFRICOM, its military service components, and CJTF-HOA had held an executive board meeting earlier that month to discuss CJTF-HOA’s future. Options pertaining to CJTF-HOA’s future role were discussed with AFRICOM’s commander, ranging from CTJF-HOA narrowing its focus on counterterrorism activities to maintaining its current mission to broadening its focus on theater security cooperation activities. AFRICOM said that CJTF-HOA’s activities support some of the command’s theater strategic objectives. AFRICOM also cited a continuous need for CJTF- HOA, as well as Camp Lemonnier, for the foreseeable future, given regional security threats. However, until AFRICOM completes it evaluation of CJTF-HOA, it cannot determine whether it should sustain the task force, Page 10 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • and if so, whether changes are needed to CJTF-HOA’s mission, structure, or resources to better support the command’s mission. CJTF-HOA Continues to Carry Out Activities, but Long-term Effects Are Unknown AFRICOM has stated that CJTF-HOA’s activities have been especially important as the command and its military service components are maturing. However, it is uncertain whether the task force’s full range of activities support AFRICOM’s mission of sustained security engagement because the task force is generally not conducting long-term follow up on activities. CJTF-HOA has continued to carry out activities after transitioning under AFRICOM. CJTF-HOA told us that while AFRICOM has not yet made a decision about the future of these activities, the task force officials believed that some of their military-to-military activities13 may migrate to the military service components and that CJTF-HOA may focus on countering violent extremism through civil affairs projects, engineering projects, and other work. Moreover, AFRICOM has stated that, as the capabilities of its military service components become mature, the command will determine the best course of action to transfer CJTF-HOA activities to the components as necessary to ensure sustained security engagement with African countries in CJTF-HOA’s operating area. CJTF-HOA Conducting Activities under AFRICOM When we met with CJTF-HOA officials in October 2009, they estimated that, in addition to other tasks, about 60 percent of the task force’s activities focus on civil affairs projects. To conduct these quick, short-term projects, CJTF-HOA has established small civil affairs teams (for example, five or six personnel) who deploy to remote areas to engage the local communities and perform activities such as medical and veterinary care for local communities. While deployed, the teams generally nominate project proposals based on assessments they conduct as to what the communities need. The proposals are reviewed for approval by USAID, the embassy, CJTF-HOA, and AFRICOM prior to execution. During our October 2009 visit to the U.S. embassy in Ethiopia, we learned of several project proposals from civil affairs teams deployed in the country, ranging from under $10,000 to about $200,000—including the construction of a teaching farm, school renovations, training for local mechanics, 13 According to CJTF-HOA, its military-to-military activities support theater security cooperation through programs designed to encourage a democratic orientation of African defense establishments and military forces while supporting AFRICOM’s theater objectives. Page 11 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • construction of an orphanage, and renovation of a bridge. None of the project proposals in Ethiopia had been approved at the time of our visit. CJTF-HOA officials told us that the project approval process can be lengthy, potentially lasting an entire year. This is generally longer than the tour rotations of some CJTF-HOA civil affairs team personnel. Figure 3: CJTF-HOA Activities CJTF-HOA and Uganda People’s Defense Force work to construct a bridge foundation A search and recovery operation in Africa’s Lake Victoria Source: CJTF-HOA. Examples of other current activities include military-to-military activities, participation in peace support operations, personnel recovery efforts, and counter-piracy activities. For example, in October 2009, CJTF-HOA personnel participated in AFRICOM’s Natural Fire exercise to prepare U.S. and East African forces for possible future humanitarian civic assistance and disaster relief operations. CJTF-HOA has also participated in the Department of State-led Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program to provide African militaries training on peace support operations. In addition, when directed, CJTF-HOA also recovers and returns DOD, Department of State, and USAID personnel; American Page 12 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • citizens; coalition personnel; and others within the Horn of Africa. Furthermore, CJTF-HOA is coordinating with the Navy and coalition partners in CENTCOM’s Coalition Task Force 151, which conducts maritime security operations to protect shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean. AFRICOM has also established a socio-cultural research and advisory team on a semipermanent basis at Camp Lemonnier. The team consists of one to five social scientists who conduct research and provide cultural advice to the command. While CJTF-HOA continues to conduct most of its activities within its operating area and area-of-interest countries, task force officials told us that their forces also conduct some activities outside these areas upon AFRICOM’s request. For example, CJTF-HOA helped train non- commissioned officers in Liberia and performed explosive ordnance disposal and other training in Swaziland. AFRICOM officials said that the command considers CJTF-HOA forces as an option available to carry out AFRICOM activities across Africa depending on the specific skills needed, availability of forces, and other factors. However, they acknowledged that some of CJTF-HOA’s activities could be delayed or under-staffed if AFRICOM sends CJTF-HOA forces elsewhere. CJTF-HOA is not currently conducting long-term follow up on activities to determine whether they are having their intended effects or whether modifications to activities need to be made to best align with AFRICOM’s mission. Additionally, AFRICOM told us that the task force is generally not setting specific, achievable, and measurable goals for its activities that tie to specific missions or desired effects. Some CJTF-HOA activities appear to support AFRICOM’s mission. AFRICOM’s posture statement asserts that military-to-military engagement is the foundation of building security capacity in the East African region. DOD’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review also states that the U.S. military will partner with sub-regional security organizations in Africa to conduct capacity building and address humanitarian crises. Moreover, Department of State and U.S. embassy officials said that peacekeeping and military-to-military training activities help support embassy goals and U.S. foreign policy objectives in the partner nations. For example, in fall 2009, the task force provided support to the Djibouti military for a training exercise with the African Union’s Eastern Africa Standby Brigade. In addition, it has developed courses for African navies and coast guards to provide operational-level training on topics such as piracy, drug trafficking, illegal fishing, and environmental issues as part of its Maritime Center of Excellence initiative. CJTF-HOA forces also have helped train peacekeeping forces in Rwanda and Uganda Long-term Activity Assessments Not Currently Conducted Page 13 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • through an activity managed by the Department of State and supported by AFRICOM to improve the ability of African militaries to respond quickly to crises. Other CJTF-HOA proposed activities may not consider the full range of possible effects or may not be clearly aligned with AFRICOM’s mission. For example, Department of State and USAID officials we contacted at one U.S. embassy expressed concern that some of the activities that CJTF- HOA had previously proposed, such as building schools for the partner nation, did not appear to fit into a larger strategic framework, and said that they did not believe CJTF-HOA was monitoring its activities as needed to enable it to demonstrate a link between activities and mission. These officials told us that instead of leveraging long-term data to guide future activity planning, CJTF-HOA may be proposing activities without considering the full range of potential consequences. The embassy officials cited a past example where CJTF-HOA had proposed drilling a well without considering how its placement could cause conflict in clan relationships or affect pastoral routes. Officials at other embassies described similar problems with CJTF-HOA proposals. To mitigate such issues, U.S. embassies have steered CJTF-HOA toward contributing to projects identified by USAID, which are better aligned with embassy and U.S. foreign policy goals. Moreover, some CJTF-HOA activities appear to be sporadic, short-term events that may not promote sustained or long- term security engagement. A senior official within Djibouti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said that while he appreciated the projects conducted by CJTF-HOA’s civil affairs teams, his government would like the U.S. military to focus on long-term activities that build the Djiboutian military’s capacity. For example, it is uncertain whether CJTF-HOA’s Maritime Center of Excellence will become an enduring institution. CJTF-HOA has offered a few maritime training sessions to African navies and coast guards, but it has been unable to make it an enduring activity because additional funding has not yet been secured. U.S. embassy officials stated that feedback from participants at the training sessions was positive, but that the participants’ expectations have been dampened because they had anticipated a permanent institution. The officials added that creating a permanent Center of Excellence would advance the one-time benefit of the training toward a lasting benefit for the East African partner nations and in turn would support AFRICOM’s mission of sustained security engagement. Page 14 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Our prior work has highlighted the importance of developing mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and report on results,14 and we have previously reported that U.S. agencies cannot be fully assured that they have effectively allocated resources without establishing an assessment process.15 The Government Performance and Results Act also emphasizes that agencies should measure performance toward the achievement of goals. AFRICOM’s theater campaign plan requires assessments of theater security cooperation activities, and CJTF-HOA’s draft regional engagement plan requires it to conduct activity assessments during the first month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and yearly following the completion of an activity. In addition, AFRICOM has developed a robust tool to measure progress in meeting its strategic objectives and determining whether changes are needed to its strategic guidance and priorities for activities. The tool measures objective (e.g., number of identified al Qaeda members in a country), subjective (e.g., likelihood of an imminent terrorist attack), and perceptive (e.g., the level of protection against terrorism Africans expect their governments can provide) factors. However, AFRICOM officials told us that this tool is used primarily for strategic planning purposes and not for follow up on individual activities. Similarly, CJTF- HOA has also developed a tool that identifies objective, subjective, and perceptive factors and measures progress toward meeting AFRICOM’s regional objectives for six countries, but our analysis indicates that this tool is used for strategic planning and not for specific activity assessment. In some instances, CJTF-HOA has conducted short-term follow up on activities. For example, the task force is required to produce after-action reports 30 days following an activity, which consist of information such as project description, number of participants, costs, and lessons learned. While these reports may be important measures of the immediate results of activities, we found general consensus among AFRICOM, CJTF-HOA, and U.S. embassy personnel that long-term follow up on CJTF-HOA’s activities generally does not occur. For example, a CJTF-HOA embassy liaison official told us that the task force’s civil affairs teams might follow up on past activities if they are still deployed to the area in which the activity occurred, but there is no requirement for the teams to return to the area for the sole purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of activities. When 14 GAO-06-15. 15 GAO, The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Systematic Assessment Is Needed to Determine Agencies’ Progress toward U.S. Policy Objectives, GAO-08-188 (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 14, 2007). Page 15 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • we asked AFRICOM officials about whether the command was following up on CJTF-HOA’s activities as part of their activity planning efforts, the officials said that AFRICOM does not conduct specific assessments of CJTF-HOA activities; rather, the command has begun to perform general strategic assessments across Africa that provide information that can help determine whether AFRICOM is meeting its theater security objectives. They noted that AFRICOM is working to create plans to assess activities, and that effort could guide the command’s annual strategic activity planning process with its military service components, special operations command, CJTF-HOA, and interagency partners. An AFRICOM official also said that CJTF-HOA is working to implement a process by which information on past activities can be assessed. However, according to the AFRICOM officials, CJTF-HOA has not historically been focused on performing long-term follow up on activities to determine whether they are having their intended effects or whether modifications to activities need to be made. We also found instances in which CJTF-HOA was either unaware of or did not follow up on some infrastructure activities. At a training exercise for incoming CJTF-HOA officials, discussion was raised concerning CJTF- HOA’s recent discovery of a dilapidated school in Kenya with a placard stating “donated by CJTF-HOA”; current staff had been unaware of the school’s existence. Department of State and USAID officials at one U.S. embassy also stated that CJTF-HOA had built a well for a local community, but the staff did not teach the community how to maintain it. While some of CJTF-HOA’s activities may promote temporary benefits for the participants, their short-term nature or unintended long-term effects could potentially promote unfavorable views of the U.S. military among partner nations. In recognition of this issue, CJTF-HOA recently added an area to its project nomination process form that would require civil affairs teams to identify what party (e.g., the host nation) will sustain the proposed project. However, without requiring long-term assessments of activities, it is difficult for AFRICOM to determine the effectiveness of CJTF-HOA, which is critical for overall planning efforts and its decisions on the task force’s future. Page 16 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • CJTF-HOA’s Presence in Africa Offers Benefits, but the Task Force Also Faces Challenges Carrying Out Activities CJTF-HOA’s force presence in the Horn of Africa provides several benefits to AFRICOM, U.S. embassies, and partner nations, but the task force faces challenges in carrying out activities. CJTF-HOA’s benefits are important for AFRICOM to consider in its evaluation of CJTF-HOA and deciding on its future. In addition, CJTF-HOA has conducted some activities that have been viewed favorably by U.S. embassies and partner nations. However, until challenges are addressed, AFRICOM cannot ensure that CJTF-HOA is most effectively carrying out its activities in support of the command. CJTF-HOA’s Presence in the Horn of Africa Provides Several Benefits We found that the presence of CJTF-HOA forces in the Horn of Africa provides several benefits to AFRICOM, U.S. embassies, and partner nations. These benefits include the ability to (1) respond to contingencies within the Horn of Africa, (2) provide some in-theater personnel for AFRICOM activities, (3) provide additional resources to U.S. embassies in the task force’s operating area and area-of-interest countries, and (4) build U.S.-African relationships by enhancing goodwill with government officials in Djibouti and other countries in which its activities are held. Moreover, AFRICOM has stated that CJTF-HOA’s location at Camp Lemonnier is important given regional terrorist threats. • Response to Contingencies. CJTF-HOA’s location within Africa provides the potential for it to quickly respond to contingencies in its close proximity. Some forces within CJTF-HOA are available to serve, when directed, as part of AFRICOM’s Quick Response Forces, which can deploy on short notice for contingency response, such as to a terrorist incident. In the case of a contingency in Africa, the Secretary of Defense can approve the use of these forces to respond. For example, in March 2007, CJTF-HOA was able to send a rescue mission to a remote area in Ethiopia within 4-1/2 hours following the crash of a vehicle carrying three U.S. soldiers. Additionally, an official from the U.S. embassy in Yemen told us that CJTF- HOA forces are responsible for supporting U.S. embassy officials in Yemen in medical or emergency evacuations if called upon for those missions. • Ready Access to Some In-Theater Personnel for Activities. Because CJTF-HOA is located in Africa and has its own assigned forces, AFRICOM can potentially leverage some of these in-theater personnel forces to carry out security cooperation activities. AFRICOM officials told us that the command would benefit from having assigned forces for its military service components to conduct activities on the continent. Currently, AFRICOM’s military service components do not have assigned forces. To conduct their activities, forces must be requested through a formal Joint Staff process. Force planning currently occurs within the Joint Staff Page 17 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • 2 years prior to the designated fiscal year; forces needed for emergent requirements must typically be requested 120 days in advance. AFRICOM officials told us that the command must request forces and equipment for its military service components to carry out any type of activity in Africa— whether it be a large-scale operation or additional personnel needed to travel to the continent to plan a future program.16 Moreover, they said that AFRICOM does not always receive the forces or equipment it requests for an activity because DOD may have higher priority needs. From the AFRICOM and some military service components’ perspective, having to formally request forces for all activities may impact AFRICOM’s effectiveness if there are greater DOD priorities. However, AFRICOM has occasionally used CJTF-HOA forces with appropriate skill sets outside of its operating area and area-of-interest countries, such as in Liberia and Swaziland, and these forces could potentially be leveraged for other activities. • Additional Resources for U.S. Embassies. The majority of U.S. embassies that engage with CJTF-HOA stated that they appreciate the resources that CJTF-HOA provides them and their respective host nations. Several Department of State and U.S. embassy officials said that they are under-resourced and that the military presence provides additional resources. For example, U.S. embassy officials in Djibouti described CJTF- HOA as providing valuable resources to the embassy and Djibouti. The U.S. embassy for Seychelles and Mauritius described the CJTF-HOA liaison officer as becoming integral to the embassy’s daily operations. In Uganda, U.S. embassy officials noted that CJTF-HOA’s civil affairs teams are providing valuable support to USAID in conducting security assistance aspects of development activities. • Building U.S.-African Relationships. Conducting activities in Africa provides the opportunity for CJTF-HOA to generate a positive image of the U.S. military and build U.S.-African relationships. Government and military officials in Djibouti told us that they appreciated having CJTF-HOA conduct activities, and U.S. embassy officials in CJTF-HOA’s operating area and area-of-interest countries also indicated that African officials appreciated CJTF-HOA’s presence. A senior official in Djibouti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation told us that the Djiboutian government recognizes that the U.S. military presence has been extremely beneficial for Djibouti, highlighting CJTF-HOA’s activities such as equipment donations and support for the training of Somali security 16 When forces are not provided, AFRICOM may have to delay or cancel activities or take military service component staff away from other duties to travel to Africa. Page 18 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • forces in Djibouti. Djiboutian military officers also told us that their military has a positive relationship with CJTF-HOA and that they appreciate the U.S. military’s presence in their country. Additionally, a U.S. embassy official in Tanzania said that Tanzanian political, administrative, civil society, and religious leaders continuously assert their appreciation for CJTF-HOA’s civil affairs team. CJTF-HOA Faces Challenges in Supporting AFRICOM’s Mission CJTF-HOA faces challenges in supporting AFRICOM’s mission of sustained security engagement in Africa. These challenges include uncertainty of CJTF-HOA’s future funding if the task force does not continue to receive overseas contingency operations appropriations, as well as difficulties implementing activities—including applying funding to activities, addressing African cultural issues, and working with interagency partners. As these challenges are addressed, CJTF-HOA may be better positioned to support the command. While AFRICOM has not yet made decisions on CJTF-HOA, the task force’s sustainability may nonetheless be uncertain because AFRICOM, in concert with DOD or the Navy, has not developed viable long-term funding options to address how, and in what form, CJTF-HOA can be funded over the long term. AFRICOM and CJTF-HOA officials told us that they are uncertain how CJTF-HOA will be funded if overseas contingency operations appropriations—upon which CJTF-HOA relies heavily and which are separate from DOD’s base budget—are eliminated. As it stands, it is highly uncertain whether the Navy would be able or willing to absorb CJTF-HOA, with its current budget and composition, into its base budget without making difficult trade-off decisions. In addition, we have previously reported that DOD needs to determine the full costs associated with AFRICOM.17 When AFRICOM inherited CJTF-HOA from CENTCOM, the task force’s budget was not altered significantly. Future Funding Is Uncertain We have previously reported that past DOD supplemental funding requests have generally been used to support the initial or unexpected costs of contingency operations.18 Once a limited and partial projection of costs has been made, past DOD administrations have generally requested further funding in their base budget requests. We have encouraged DOD to 17 GAO-09-181. 18 GAO, Global War on Terrorism: DOD Needs to Take Action to Encourage Fiscal Discipline and Optimize the Use of Tools Intended to Improve GWOT Cost Reporting, GAO-08-68 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 6, 2007). Page 19 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • include known or likely projected costs of ongoing operations related to the war on terrorism in DOD’s base budget requests. In fiscal year 2010, DOD shifted about $7.8 billion in funding from overseas contingency operations appropriations to the base budget request, representing about 6 percent of the fiscal year 2010 overseas contingency operations appropriations; however, according to DOD officials, consistent with Office of Management and Budget guidance, the majority of funding for CJTF-HOA and Camp Lemonnier has continued to be requested through the department’s overseas contingency operations funding requests. While decisions about CJTF-HOA’s future, including its long-term funding, have not yet been made, Camp Lemonnier continues to grow even though when the Marine Corps first moved to Camp Lemonnier in 2003, it was intended to be a temporary or expeditionary camp. Camp Lemonnier’s planned expansion began under CENTCOM, which had set a requirement that the camp be capable of expanding from 2,000 personnel during normal operations to the accommodation of 4,000 personnel during a surge, and of supporting 12 fixed-wing aircraft. In 2005, the U.S. and Djiboutian governments reached an agreement to obtain 500 additional acres of land for the camp and to return a small portion of the camp’s current land to Djibouti. As of March 2010, the camp had completed an expansion of an aircraft parking apron and taxiway system and was pursuing other projects, such as establishing a new dining facility and further developing the utility and network infrastructure system. The camp has also budgeted $41.8 million in fiscal year 2010 for four other infrastructure projects: an ammunition supply point, security fencing around the camp’s perimeter, pavement of several internal base roads, and construction of a fire station. Page 20 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Figure 4: Housing at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (2008) Source: GAO. AFRICOM and CJTF-HOA officials told us that Camp Lemonnier and CJTF-HOA are separate entities and that the camp could very well endure even if the task force does not, but the two are integrally linked. CJTF- HOA personnel make up about 52 percent of Camp Lemonnier’s tenants, and CJTF-HOA forces provide security for the camp. While increasing counter-piracy efforts could potentially expand the number of other DOD and international tenants at Camp Lemonnier, CJTF-HOA personnel will likely continue to draw the majority of the camp’s resources. Furthermore, Camp Lemonnier, like CJTF-HOA, is mostly funded from overseas contingency operations appropriations. These uncertainties, coupled with the large amount of resources that continue to be invested in CJTF-HOA and Camp Lemonnier, underscore AFRICOM’s need to determine CTJF- HOA’s future so that it is can ensure that resources are being spent appropriately. Moreover, without a solution for CJTF-HOA’s long-term funding, AFRICOM will be challenged to sustain the task force, if it chooses to do so. While CJTF-HOA has been implementing activities under AFRICOM, we found that some personnel lack needed skills for (1) applying funding to Some Personnel Lack Needed Skills Page 21 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • activities, (2) understanding African cultural issues, and (3) working with interagency partners at U.S. embassies. • Funding for Activities. CJTF-HOA’s budget staff have difficulty effectively applying funding to activities, particularly when the staff first arrive. DOD has highlighted similar issues, stating in its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review that America’s security assistance efforts are constrained by a complex patchwork of authorities and unwieldy processes. Moreover, Joint Publication 1-06 states that funding a joint operation can present a challenge because of diverse fiscal requirements, sources, and authorities of funds. Multiple funding sources (e.g., DOD, Department of State, United Nations) may have to be used to accommodate the constraints imposed by fiscal law.19 However, Joint Publication 1-04 also emphasizes the need for properly establishing, staffing, training, and equipping legal support to joint task forces. To ensure unity of effort, personnel need a common understanding of who is responsible for performing which tasks and how those tasks are performed.20 There are nine DOD and three Department of State funding accounts for CJTF-HOA activities. According to CJTF-HOA officials, the task force’s budget staff have a steep learning curve to understand the provisions associated with these funding accounts because the CJTF-HOA comptroller and deputy comptroller are not financial specialists, generally do not work on military comptroller issues full time, and have short tour lengths. This steep learning curve can result in delays in conducting activities, as CJTF-HOA staff described spending extra time and resources understanding how to apply funding to activities. Moreover, AFRICOM stated that command staffing and tour lengths contribute to the difficulties in learning and maintaining knowledge of funding for CJTF- HOA activities. For example, CJTF-HOA staff had intended to continue providing training for senior enlisted Ethiopian military members through one type of funding authorization, but they later found that the account did not allow training of foreign military members. Consequently, the staff had to revise their program from one of training officers to one of providing feedback to Ethiopian instructors. While CJTF-HOA staff may eventually correctly identify funding accounts for their activities, their limited skills in applying funding may result in difficulties in implementing activities. CJTF-HOA officials told us that financial training for program staff would be beneficial. 19 Joint Publication 1-06, Financial Management Support in Joint Operations (Mar. 4, 2008). 20 Joint Publication 1-04, Legal Support to Military Operations (Mar. 1, 2007). Page 22 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • • African Cultural Issues. AFRICOM’s posture statement identifies cultural awareness and regional expertise as core competencies for AFRICOM. However, we found instances in which CJTF-HOA was not able to conduct activities as effectively as possible due to limited understanding of cultural issues, such as the time required to conduct activities in African villages or local religious customs. In one case, according to a U.S. embassy official, CJTF-HOA provided 3 days notice to the host nation that it would conduct a medical clinic in a remote village in Djibouti. However, because the villagers are nomads, it was difficult to get participants due to the short amount of notice. U.S. embassy officials also shared with us an instance in which CJTF-HOA’s proposal for a 1-day veterinary vaccination event could have actually harmed the livestock by having them travel when they were weakened from a recent drought. As another example, CJTF-HOA distributed used clothing to local Djibouti villagers during Ramadan, which offended the Muslim population. However, a couple of U.S. embassies acknowledged that CJTF-HOA is working to improve its expertise in African issues. In Tanzania, for example, a U.S. embassy official said that the CJTF-HOA team members had become proficient in Swahili, helping them to develop relationships. Getting to know the language, culture, and the people in the region, the embassy official said, has contributed to the success in developing a Tanzanian-American partnership in a region where extremists are known to operate. According to AFRICOM, the command is drafting guidance that will address cultural training, which it expects to issue in spring 2010. More widespread and robust cultural understanding of its partner nations could help CJTF-HOA avoid potentially unfavorable views of itself among the Africans and risk straining relations between partner nations and the U.S. government. • Interagency Collaboration. CJTF-HOA stations officials in U.S. embassies to facilitate coordination with the Department of State and USAID; however, several embassy officials said that CJTF-HOA’s embassy liaisons may take several months to understand their roles in the embassy, and embassy staff must continually train incoming CJTF- HOA staff as they rotate in. We found several instances in which CJTF- HOA personnel did not always understand embassy procedures for interacting with African partner nations. For example, at times CJTF- HOA personnel would approach the Djiboutian government ministries directly with concepts for activities rather than follow the established procedure of having the U.S. embassy initiate the contact. In another instance, a CJTF-HOA civil affairs team operating in Uganda was not aware of the U.S. embassy’s requirement that they wear their military uniforms while carrying out activities. Our prior work has highlighted Page 23 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • issues associated with interagency efforts in Africa. Specifically, in reporting on the U.S. government’s Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership initiative in northwest Africa, we have recommended that a comprehensive strategy be developed to increase agencies’ ability to collaborate in working to combat terrorism. The Department of State and USAID agreed with the recommendation, with USAID noting that our report reinforced its efforts to encourage interagency collaboration and create efficiencies in implementation.21 Similarly, without greater skills in working with embassy partners, CJTF-HOA may have difficulty leveraging resources with Department of State and USAID personnel, potentially slowing the process for conducting activities effectively or supporting U.S. interests in the region. We found that some of CJTF-HOA personnel’s lack of skills in the above issues may be caused or exacerbated by limited training and guidance and further compounded by the task force’s short tour lengths, which impose a steep learning curve. According to U.S. embassy officials, CJTF-HOA personnel’s tours often end just as they are beginning to develop a solid knowledge base. Regarding understanding of funding accounts, AFRICOM budget staff are available to answer funding questions posed by CJTF- HOA, but AFRICOM does not provide guidance on most of CJTF-HOA’s funding accounts because officials told us that CJTF-HOA should receive this guidance from the Navy. Moreover, during our observation of training provided to incoming CJTF-HOA staff in January 2010, we observed some instruction on working with the U.S. embassies. For example, officials discussed embassy leadership, the role of different federal agencies at embassies, U.S. foreign policy strategies for host nations, and other topics. However, the majority of that training was not shared with all staff but rather only with the CJTF-HOA embassy liaison personnel. In addition, only limited information on African cultural and political issues was provided at that training. Upon arrival at Camp Lemonnier, incoming personnel attend a 2-day introductory course that generally focuses on how to live and work on the camp and includes some interagency and cultural awareness topics. CJTF-HOA shared with us six training presentations identified as covering cultural awareness; however, we 21 GAO, Combating Terrorism: Actions Needed to Enhance Implementation of Trans- Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, GAO-08-860 (Washington, D.C.: July 31, 2008). The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership initiative is a multiyear, multiagency effort to support diplomacy, development assistance, and military activities aimed at strengthening country and regional counterterrorism capabilities and inhibiting the spread of extremist ideology. Page 24 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • found that only two of those presentations covered Djiboutian and African cultural awareness topics such as geography, climate, religion, and etiquette. The remaining presentations focused primarily on staff operations and organizational structure, and they did not provide comprehensive information on African cultural issues. Furthermore, because the cultural training presentations are provided during the beginning of tours, when personnel are also learning about their new assignments and daily operations, it is unlikely that the two cultural presentations provide for comprehensive, effective cultural training. However, in February 2010, CJTF-HOA created a special advisor position to, among other duties, help coordinate interagency efforts. Preliminary findings from our ongoing review of AFRICOM’s activity planning and execution suggest that these difficulties may not be unique to CJTF-HOA; rather, they may also pose problems for personnel at AFRICOM headquarters, its military service components, and beyond. Our prior work on interagency collaboration has highlighted issues, such as developing a well-trained workforce and understanding cultural differences, which extend to the entire federal government.22 AFRICOM officials told us that the command does not oversee training for CJTF- HOA, but it does provide Web-based cultural training that is available to CJTF-HOA and all of its components. The officials also said that the command has helped reduce the steep learning curve of CJTF-HOA personnel by placing CJTF-HOA liaison officials alongside AFRICOM liaison officials in U.S. embassies, and by staggering the tour dates of CJTF-HOA’s commander with those of other staff. However, without more fully addressing CJTF-HOA’s difficulties such as effectively applying funding to activities, understanding African cultural issues, and working with interagency partners at U.S. embassies, CJTF- HOA will continue to face problems implementing activities and will struggle to institutionalize knowledge amidst its frequent personnel rotations. As the U.S. military’s main operational presence on the African continent, CJTF-HOA has the potential to play a critical role in helping the United Conclusions 22 GAO, Interagency Collaboration: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight of National Security Strategies, Organizations, Workforce, and Information Sharing, GAO-09-904SP (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 25, 2009). Page 25 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • States develop a more holistic approach to Africa. However, 18 months after CJTF-HOA was moved under AFRICOM, key decisions have yet to be made regarding the future of the task force. While AFRICOM’s military service components and special operations command have all begun carrying out activities, CJTF-HOA continues to operate in largely the same manner, with generally the same mission, force composition, and budgetary resources, as it did under CENTCOM. Moreover, it continues to conduct activities without ensuring that they are positively affecting African partner nations over the long term. And, costly infrastructure investments continue to be made to transform Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti from a temporary site to an enduring base. CJTF-HOA, as AFRICOM’s only task force located in Africa with assigned forces, has the potential to make valuable contributions to the U.S. government’s efforts on the continent. However, a key decision in its evaluation and planning of the myriad of activities it has inherited from other DOD organizations is determining whether changes are needed to CJTF-HOA—such as the re-alignment, modification, or possible dissolution of the task force in favor of other priorities. Should the department decide to sustain the task force, attention must be turned to addressing challenges that are hindering its effectiveness in carrying out activities. Until AFRICOM takes steps to examine feasible long-term funding options and develops a solution to increase the effectiveness and continuity of efforts among CJTF-HOA’s frequently-rotating staff, the command cannot ensure that its task force is supporting U.S. efforts in Africa with the appropriate resources and trained personnel. First, to help ensure that personnel and resources are applied most effectively to enhance U.S. military efforts in Africa, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Commander, U.S. Africa Command, to complete its evaluation of CJTF-HOA, determining whether the task force should be retained, and if so, whether changes are needed to its mission, structure, and resources to best support the command’s mission. Recommendations for Executive Action If DOD determines that sustaining CJTF-HOA is consistent with its long- term goals, we further recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Commander, U.S. Africa Command to take the following four additional actions: • Conduct long-term assessments of CJTF-HOA activities to determine whether the activities are having their intended impact and support AFRICOM’s mission. Page 26 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • • Identify the projected costs for the task force to conduct its assigned mission and, in concert with DOD or the Navy, develop a realistic funding plan for the task force’s sustainability. • Take actions to ensure that CJTF-HOA budget personnel have the expertise and knowledge necessary to make timely and accurate funding decisions for activities. These actions could include some combination of training, staffing changes, and/or guidance. • Develop comprehensive training guidance or a program that augments assigned personnel’s understanding of African cultural awareness and working with interagency partners. The guidance or program should be mandatory and mechanisms should be developed to ensure compliance for the best chances of institutionalizing knowledge among CJTF-HOA personnel, promote continuity of efforts, and sustain progress as personnel rotate frequently into and out of Camp Lemonnier. In its written comments on a draft of this report, DOD generally concurred with all of our recommendations and cited some actions that it was taking to address the issues identified in this report. Technical comments were provided separately and incorporated as appropriate. The department’s written comments are reprinted in appendix III. Agency Comments and Our Evaluation DOD partially concurred with our recommendation that AFRICOM complete its evaluation of CJTF-HOA and, if deciding to retain the task force, determine whether changes are needed to its mission, structure, and resources to best support the command’s mission. In its response, the department stated that CJTF-HOA provides an essential capability and is located in a strategic location to protect American lives and support U.S. interests in the region. As CJTF-HOA’s mission of countering violent extremism remains a top priority for the task force, DOD expects CJTF- HOA to continue to carry out activities in the region for years to come. The department stated that AFRICOM will be tasked to work with the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to determine whether modifications are needed to CJTF-HOA’s mission, structure, activities, and resources to best meet the mission of countering violent extremism in the region. The department further stated that much of this evaluation is already in progress, that AFRICOM regularly evaluates CJTF-HOA’s mission, and that the AFRICOM commander is satisfied with the task force’s current structure and forces assigned to carry out its mission. As our report indicates, CJTF-HOA has the potential to make valuable contributions to the U.S. government’s efforts in Africa. We agree that it is a good practice for AFRICOM to conduct ongoing reviews of the task Page 27 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • force. However, DOD’s response does not indicate what analyses, if any, the AFRICOM commander relied upon in order to conclude that the task force’s current structure and forces are most appropriate. Also, as we previously mentioned in this report, we requested but AFRICOM did not provide us with details of its ongoing evaluation. Given that CJTF-HOA was originally established almost 8 years ago under a different combatant command and that its status has not changed significantly since it moved under AFRICOM, we support the department’s decision to task AFRICOM to complete its evaluation of CJTF-HOA and determine whether modifications are needed to the task force’s mission, structure, activities, and resources. We believe that this is a critical step in determining the future role of CJTF-HOA. Completing this evaluation in a thorough yet expeditious manner and clearly articulating any needed changes to CJTF- HOA’s mission, structure, and resources will aid in the command’s efforts to plan and prioritize the many activities it inherited upon its establishment and ensure that personnel and resources are applied most effectively to enhance U.S. military efforts in Africa. In response to our recommendation that AFRICOM conduct long-term assessments of CJTF-HOA activities, DOD concurred, stating that the command has established an assessment process and that the task force has revised its review criteria to consider long-term sustainment in its activity evaluations. While we acknowledge that AFRICOM’s assessment tool measures progress in meeting the command’s strategic objectives, our review revealed that this tool does not follow up on specific activities. Additionally, we reported that the task force is implementing a process to assess past activities. DOD also stated that AFRICOM is working with CJTF-HOA personnel to put in place an operational assessment process to continuously evaluate individual activities and their impact on regional capacity to prevent and deter terrorist activities, but it did not provide a time frame for completion. If implemented, this effort has potential to provide CJTF-HOA with additional information on whether its activities are having their intended effects or whether modifications are needed. We continue to believe that until AFRICOM consistently follows up on the long-term impact of CJTF-HOA’s activities, the command will be unable to effectively determine whether the activities support AFRICOM’s mission of sustained security engagement. Regarding our recommendation that AFRICOM identify costs associated with CJTF-HOA and develop a realistic funding plan, DOD concurred with comment. The department stated that it is working with the Department of the Navy and the Office of Management and Budget on long-term funding options for the task force and Camp Lemonnier, and that AFRICOM will Page 28 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • articulate CJTF-HOA’s funding requirements to the appropriate DOD offices. Furthermore, DOD stated that the actual funding source—whether overseas contingency operations or DOD baseline funds—is decided at the department and administration levels, rather than at AFRICOM. While we acknowledge that AFRICOM must work in concert with DOD, the Department of the Navy, and the Office of Management and Budget, our review found that AFRICOM officials remain uncertain as to how the task force would be funded if overseas contingency operations appropriations are eliminated. DOD’s response also did not provide information on a specific timeline or plan to determine costs and future funding options for CJTF-HOA. In order to ensure resources are being spent appropriately and will remain sufficient to sustain the task force in the future, as AFRICOM intends, the command should actively work with the department and other relevant stakeholders to develop a solution for CJTF-HOA’s long-term funding. DOD concurred with our recommendation that AFRICOM should take actions to ensure that CJTF-HOA’s budget personnel have the appropriate expertise and knowledge, such as through training, staffing changes, and/or guidance. In its response, the department stated that AFRICOM has encouraged CJTF-HOA participation in resource management courses and has conducted some on-the-job training in the past, which it intends to continue. The department also responded that AFRICOM has taken steps to lengthen some tours for personnel with critical skills and plans to bring key personnel to the command for training prior to deployment to CJTF- HOA. However, it did not provide specific information on which personnel’s tours would be lengthened, which personnel would attend and what type of pre-deployment training would be given at the command, or a timeline for implementing this latter action. Our review identified that the short tour lengths and steep learning curves of the budget personnel have remained challenges for CJTF-HOA, resulting in staff spending extra time and resources understanding how to apply funding activities and potentially leading to delays in conducting activities. We believe the steps DOD outlined, if implemented in a timely and comprehensive manner, could help augment understanding and expertise associated with applying funding accounts to activities within CJTF-HOA. Furthermore, we continue to believe that AFRICOM should identify and complete specific actions—such as consistently providing additional training or issuing specific funding guidance—which will aid in institutionalizing knowledge among CJTF-HOA budget staff. In response to our recommendation that AFRICOM develop comprehensive training guidance or a program on African cultural Page 29 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • awareness and working with interagency partners, DOD concurred, stating that AFRICOM has set up a Joint Force Development and Readiness Directorate to develop cultural awareness programs and has also participated in a CJTF-HOA mission rehearsal exercise for incoming core staff. Our review highlighted AFRICOM’s participation in CJTF-HOA’s pre- deployment mission rehearsal exercise; however, as we report, we observed some training provided on working with U.S. embassies—the majority of which was not shared with all incoming task force staff—as well as limited training provided on African cultural and political issues. Additionally, the department did not address how it would mandate compliance with any training it develops. Until AFRICOM develops and mandates the use of training guidance or a program for its task force that specifically focuses on African cultural awareness and working with interagency partners, the task force risks strained relations with partner nations and U.S. embassy personnel and potentially slowing the process for conducting activities effectively. As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days from the issue date. At that time, we will send copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense; the Secretary of State; and the Administrator, United States Agency for International Development. The report will also be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov. If you or your staff have questions about this report, please contact me at (202) 512-3489 or at pendletonj@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to this report are John H. Pendleton listed in appendix IV. Director, Defense Capabilities and Management Page 30 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Appendix I: Scope and Methodology Appendix I: Scope and Methodology In conducting our work for this report, we analyzed documentation and conducted interviews with officials at the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CTJF-HOA), Djiboutian government, and U.S. embassies that work with CJTF-HOA. We met with AFRICOM officials in Stuttgart, Germany, in June 2009 and held follow-up video-teleconferences in December 2009. As part of our ongoing review of AFRICOM, we traveled to Uganda, Ethiopia, and Djibouti in October 2009 to meet with embassy officials and observe U.S. military operations. We chose to visit Uganda to observe the AFRICOM-sponsored, U.S. Army Africa-led Natural Fire exercise, AFRICOM’s largest exercise in Africa for 2009; Ethiopia, due to its proximity to Djibouti and large amount of CJTF-HOA civil affairs team activity proposals; and Djibouti, due to the location of CJTF-HOA at Camp Lemonnier. We visited the U.S. embassies in each of these countries, and we spoke with members of the Djiboutian government. Additionally, we contacted all U.S. embassies within CJTF- HOA’s operating area and areas of interest. We received either written responses or held phone conversations with the following embassies:1 Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, and Yemen. In January 2010, we observed and obtained documentation from an academic training and mission rehearsal exercise for incoming CJTF-HOA staff in Suffolk, Virginia. To review the extent to which AFRICOM has made decisions on CJTF- HOA and determined whether its activities align with the command’s mission, we reviewed AFRICOM and CJTF-HOA guidance and discussed the task force’s status and future plans with officials. Specifically, to examine CJTF-HOA’s mission, we studied its operational order and draft regional engagement plan, and we received from CJTF-HOA officials information on activities. Specifically, to review CJTF-HOA’s current personnel, we received from CJTF-HOA information on current staff and force structure. To review CJTF-HOA’s status on funding resources, we studied budget documentation including CJTF-HOA’s spending for fiscal year 2009, proposed spend plan for fiscal year 2010, and funding information for Camp Lemonnier from both the camp’s and CJTF-HOA’s comptrollers. We also visited Camp Lemonnier in October 2009 to interview CJTF-HOA officials about the status of the task force. To gain further information about CJTF-HOA’s activities, we visited the U.S. embassies in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Uganda in October 2009 to interview 1 We also contacted but did not receive a response from the U.S. embassy in Burundi. Page 31 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Appendix I: Scope and Methodology Department of State, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Department of Defense (DOD) officials at embassies, including CJTF-HOA liaison officials stationed in the embassies. We also asked U.S. embassy officials from Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, and Yemen about the activities conducted by CJTF-HOA in their respective countries. To address plans for CJTF-HOA’s future under AFRICOM, we met with AFRICOM officials in Stuttgart, Germany, in June 2009 and held follow-up meetings to obtain their views on CJTF-HOA’s status and potential future responsibilities. To review CJTF-HOA’s benefits and challenges, we reviewed AFRICOM’s strategic guidance including its theater strategy, theater campaign plan, posture statement, and a briefing on its baseline assessment tool, and we analyzed CJTF-HOA’s operational order, draft regional engagement plan, incoming staff training presentations, and activities in relation to AFRICOM’s guidance. We also reviewed DOD’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review to understand DOD’s strategy for Africa. We conducted interviews with AFRICOM, CJTF-HOA, U.S. embassy, Djiboutian government, and U.S. Joint Forces Command officials. During our discussions with AFRICOM officials, we obtained information on AFRICOM’s lack of assigned forces and its ability to leverage CJTF-HOA forces. As part of our visit to Camp Lemonnier in October 2009, we discussed with task force officials the benefits and challenges of CJTF-HOA’s presence and activities, and we further observed training for incoming task force staff at the mission rehearsal exercise in January 2010 in Suffolk, Virginia. We visited or contacted the U.S. embassies named above to obtain from the Department of State, USAID, or DOD officials information on CJTF-HOA’s benefits in their respective countries. We met with a senior official in Djibouti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as well as officers from the Djibouti Armed Forces, to gain their perspectives on working with CJTF-HOA. Additionally, we met with U.S. Joint Forces Command officials to obtain information on CJTF-HOA’s ability to respond to emergencies and AFRICOM’s ability to access forces for activities. We conducted this performance audit from April 2009 to April 2010, in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. Page 32 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Appendix II: Combined Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa Fiscal Year 2010 Spend Plan Appendix II: Combined Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa Fiscal Year 2010 Spend Plan The following table provides information on CJTF-HOA’s spend plan for fiscal year 2010. According to CJTF-HOA officials, the task force’s actual spending may differ from the proposed plan based on other priorities and requirements from AFRICOM and the military service components. Table 1: Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Fiscal Year 2010 Spend Plan Dollars in thousands Operation and Maintenance Description Amount Operation and Maintenance, Navy Funds CJTF-HOA headquarters and forward-operating location costs as well as certain operating costs of assigned Navy units. $60,150.0 Operation and Maintenance, Army Funds certain operating costs of assigned Army units. 15,500.0 Operation and Maintenance, Air Force Funds certain operating costs of assigned Air Force units. 315.0 Operation and Maintenance, Marine Corps Funds certain operating costs of assigned Marine Corps units. 150.0 Humanitarian Civic Assistance Funds provided by AFRICOM for efforts to promote security interests of the United States and foreign country, promote operational readiness skills of U.S. forces, and serve basic economic and social needs of the country’s people. Examples include medical or veterinary assistance. 2,013.0 Official Representation Funds Funds various receptions and events to extend courtesies to guests to maintain prestige and standing of CJTF-HOA. 15.5 Operation and Maintenance Subtotal 78,143.5 Humanitarian Assistance a Funds provided by AFRICOM, subject to the approval of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, to generally support projects for basic building and construction. 2,162.7 b Total $80,306.2 Source: GAO analysis of CJTF-HOA and AFRICOM information. Notes: In addition to the amounts shown in this table, the Department of State provides funding for some CJTF-HOA activities related to peacekeeping operations, foreign military financing, and international military education and training. CJTF-HOA requested $369.7 (dollars in thousands) for Traditional Commander’s Activities (TCA) funds from AFRICOM, but as of March 2010, none of the funds had been received. TCA funds are for various African military to U.S. military contacts and security cooperation activities. The task force is waiting for AFRICOM to confirm whether or not it will receive any TCA funds in fiscal year 2010. a A small portion of the funds for Humanitarian Assistance may not be allocated in fiscal year 2010 and may instead be used for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. b This figure consists of $1,345.6 for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, and $817.1 for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 (dollars in thousands). Page 33 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense Page 34 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense Page 35 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense Page 36 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense Page 37 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense Page 38 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense Page 39 GAO-10-504 Defense Management
    • Appendix IV: A GAO Contact and Staff cknowledgments Page 40 GAO-10-504 Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments John H. Pendleton, (202) 512-3489 or pendletonj@gao.gov In addition to the contact named above, Marie Mak, Assistant Director; Alissa Czyz; Lonnie McAllister; Steven Putansu; Jodie Sandel; Erin Smith; and Cheryl Weissman made major contributions to this report. Defense Management GAO Contact Acknowledgments (351435)
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